St. Patrick Catholic Church

Music to adorn the liturgy has been cultivated at St. Patrick’s since the early days. In 1815 the parish became the proud owner of the first pipe organ in town, and our 19th and 20th century musical history makes for some fascinating reading.

In our worship today, we strive for both a singing assembly and for appropriate choral and instrumental music. In addition, we are happy to welcome performers and listeners to musical events outside the liturgy.


St. Patrick's Choir
St. Patrick’s Choir, a volunteer choir with professional section leaders, sings at the 10:00am Sunday Mass from the Sunday after Labor Day until Corpus Christi, and on special occasions. Its repertoire includes chant and choral music from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century. New members are always welcome. Rehearsals are Sundays 8:45–9:45am, and after Mass until 11:45am. No regular weekday rehearsals.

Visiting Choirs
Among the many attractive venues for visiting choirs in Washington, DC, St. Patrick’s offers excellent acoustics and close proximity to downtown tourist attractions. Visiting choirs are welcome at the Sunday 10:00am Mass between Corpus Christi and Labor Day weekend, and at the Saturday 5:30pm and Sunday noon Masses throughout the year. The typical format features a twenty-minute choral prelude and Offertory and Communion motets: participation in the music of the Mass is always greatly appreciated.

For more information on, or to participate in, these programs, please .

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The organ in St. Patrick’s was built in 1994 by the Lively-Fulcher company. The organ case, facade pipes, and some of the interior pipework are from the 1895 Carl Barckhoff organ, rebuilt in 1932. The design is essentially a very complete two-manual scheme, with a third manual for added possibilities. As a personal interpretation of French 19th century concepts it is a remarkably bold and versatile organ in a beautiful acoustical environment.

More detailed information about the organ is available.

Available recordings of the organ include:

  • Frank Ferko, Hildegard Organ Cycle. Frank Ferko, organist. ARSIS CD101

  • The Sacred Legacy of Paris. Liturgical Organists Consortium – Mary Beth Bennett, Robert Gallagher, James Kosnick, Alison Luedecke, and Lynn Trapp. Music by Dupré, Duruflé, Langlais, Messiaen, Tournemire, Vierne, and Widor. WORLD LIBRARY PUBLICATIONS 002914

  • Organ Music of Franz Liszt. Donald Sutherland, organist. Includes “Weinen, Klagen,” and “Ad Nos.” GOTHIC CD 49080

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See our Calendar of Events for details about upcoming music events.

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Ronald Stolk obtained degrees in organ and church music from the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, the Netherlands, where he studied with Johann Th. Lemckert. He continued his studies with Jean Langlais and Gaston Litaize in Paris, and followed courses at the International Summer Academy for Organists in Haarlem.

He has won several prizes and awards, including the J.S. Bach Prize of the City of Wiesbaden (Germany), a Tournemire Medal in St. Albans (England), First Prize in the San Anselmo, Ca. Competition, and First Prize in the American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Improvisation.

He is dean of the District of Columbia Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and an organist liaison for the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

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